Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Joy of Woodworking Activities at the June O'Connor Centre.

During January I had the pleasure of running a four day woodwork program at the June O’Connor Centre in Joondalup, as part of their Day to Day Living (D2DL) Program. Around 12 participants and one staff member took part in the program. Over this time the participants each produced a kitchen chopping board and a bedside table. Despite the heat and cramped conditions, there was plenty of enthusiasm and laughter throughout the very successful four day workshop.

The June O'Connor Centre provides wonderful facilities via 5 centres across metropolitan Perth. From their website: "June O'Connor Centre (Inc) is dedicated to developing the awareness and support for people in the community suffering a mental illness. " www.joc.com.au

I set up my portable benches and tools, and we took over the art space at the Centre. We also spilled out into the area at the back in the adfternoons when we had some shade there. This area we used for glue-ups and for polishing.
Some of the gang at the end of Day 1, with their completed kitchen chopping boards.

Through this very enjoyable program, the participants learned and applied a number of traditional woodworking hand skills to make their kitchen chopping boards and bedside tables.

Vicki cleaning up her table frame prior to joining it to the top.

Stuart cleaning up surplus glue after completing his glue-up of the frame.

The participants used several types of planes, scrapers, saws, cramps, and measuring tools. The only power tools used were cordless drills for the drilling. A range of timbers were used, including Jarrah, Marri, Sugar Gum, Sydney Bluegum, Spotted Gum, Sheoak, Vitex, and New Guinea Rosewood. The making of the frames included cutting the rails and shooting the ends square, making the dowel joints, and gluing the frames up. Making the tops included shooting the butt joints and cutting and planing the tops to size. Pocket hole techniques were used to connect the tops to the frames, and used Cabot’s Danish Oil as the finish after the final scraping and sanding.

Some of the gang at the end of Day 4 with their completed tables.
These activities enable just about anybody to be able to use tools and make things they would never have thought of as possible previously. It is very tactile, physical, creative and satisfying. It gets people talking, working together, laughing and inspiring one another. Nice, eh?!
The participants at the June O'Connor Centre in Joondalup had a great time - and so did I!!

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